Music Review: Zappa Plays Zappa & The Mighty Boosh Band

By suke Last edited 87 months ago
Music Review: Zappa Plays Zappa & The Mighty Boosh Band

The Roundhouse had a complete Frank Zappa (FZ) make-over at the weekend. Celebrating what will be his 70th birthday in December, the venue, adorned with blow-ups of his 60+ album covers and some of his famous sayings, was awash with possibly the coolest crowd of (mostly) over 50s males ever seen in one place. There was album art to play with and Zappa tracks to remix (our efforts, a scrappy dub version of 'The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet'). Zappa's Crappa (toilet) was also on display.

Dweezil Zappa's Zappa plays Zappa (ZpZ), is an extraordinary work of love, appreciation and dedication to his late father's talent. Playing an incredibly tight set, ZpZ kicked off with The Gumbo Variations from Hot Rats, a track that FZ had never played live, before launching into a complete rendition of the album Apostrophe - a firm favourite among fans.

Integrated into some tracks, were Frank's live performances, played on a huge screen behind the stage, which worked really well. A couple of Frank's original band members guested on some numbers and his daughter, Moon-Unit, did her Valley Girls thang.

Huge Zappa fans The Mighty Boosh Band, opened the night with, true to form, a bonkers and anarchic show. Dressed in women's clothing.and sporting unusual headgear - Julian with a stocking over his head, drummer with a Nicholas Lyndhurst mask on, they were joined by characters Bob Fossil doing his best dancing and Charlie The Hat (with Diva Zappa inside). At times, swigging Baileys from a shoe and riding a child's bicycle, Noel, in his fetching gingham dress and blond wig led the band chaotically through some of their tracks and Zappa/Beefheart’s ‘Willy The Pimp’. It was all over in a flash unfortunately, but not without ending on the fecal classic ‘I did a sh*t on your mum’

Our enjoyment of ZpZ exceeded expectations. FZ is an acquired taste with the excessive and indulgent guitar noodling getting a bit much sometimes, The musicianship, depth and humour in the songs, however, is just awesome. Dweezil and ZpZ showed they were more than capable of doing them justice - surely turning a whole new generation on to the genius that is Frank Zappa and gaining their own cult following along the way?

Last Updated 09 November 2010

Jo

OK this isn't strictly relevant but ...
The US embassy in Berlin is right next to the Brandenburg Gate - you know, that essential symbol of German national identity. Post 9/11/embassy bombings, new security guidelines came into effect for US embassies abroad - they had to be situated a certain distance from public thoroughfares in order to cut the risk of carbombs etc.
The US Embassy's proximity to the B'burg Gate breached these guidelines. In response, the US government allegedly asked the German government if they wouldn't mind, you know, moving the Brandenburg Gate back a couple of dozen feet or so. The German government's alleged response to this alleged request was, allegedly, unprintable. The US lot went away and had a think, and came back later, asking if the Germans would mind awfully shifting the newly-built Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a couple of thousand carefully-placed and also highly symbolic concrete blocks, instead.
(This is all scurrilous rumours, of course, but never mind, it's a good story!)
Oh, and the Americans should take up residence in the Millennium Dome - we could screw them over for rent, and god knows no-one else wants to go near the place anyway so their precious security guidelines could be upheld.

Neal R.

I think it'd make a great permanent exhibit at the Imperial War Museum.

Ben

There's no way the Americans asked the Germans to move the Brandenburg gate!

Scott Perez-Fox

Battersea Power Station. With HUGE American flags flying from the stacks.

BraveNewMalden

Thanks for a good review and pics, Suke. 'Indulgent guitar noodling', though? Maybe to some, but the majority of his solos were wonderful things that took listeners to places other guitarists rarely explored. Happy to make recommendations.

Somewhat ironically, I believe Zappa was the first person to use the word 'noodling' to describe those aimless, look-at-me solos that many other guitarists specialise in.

iSleepDiagonal

Me and BNM are on average MUCH younger than 50 thanks!

A bit more Zappa, a little less Boosh next time. (Both gig and review)

BraveNewMalden

Thanks for a good review and pics, Suke. 'Indulgent guitar noodling', though? Maybe to some, but the majority of his solos were wonderful things that took listeners to places other guitarists rarely explored. Happy to make recommendations.
Somewhat ironically, I believe Zappa was the first person to use the word 'noodling' to describe those aimless, look-at-me solos that many other guitarists specialise in.

iSleepDiagonal

Me and BNM are on average MUCH younger than 50 thanks!
A bit more Zappa, a little less Boosh next time. (Both gig and review)

Suke

Hi BNM
Thanks for your comments!
Actually, hearing the 'noodling' live for the first time has made me appreciate it a whole load more and made me want to explore more than the 5 Zappa albums I'm familiar with - so please send over those recommendations!
:) S

Suke

Hi SD,
Sorry to offend, re over 50's - there were a lot of them though eh?.
Personally, I enjoyed The Boosh element and wanted more!!
S :)